Differentiate Yourself

I am an experienced consultant, in a sea of all types of other consultants. What can I do to differentiate myself from those who do similar work?

Every consultant faces the same issues of differentiation, regardless of firm size or discipline. Certainly your personal reputation from prior work and, often in a multi-practice firm, the reputation of your associates or partners makes a big difference as well.

However, people shop on rationality and buy on emotion. In the minds of a buyer of professional services, particularly the more senior they are, there is a greater likelihood of identifying with you if you come across as a peer. This means exhibiting leadership characteristics.

One of the best ways leaders relate is by having great history to discuss. Stories of history, more than dry recitations of capabilities that are virtually indistinguishable from others, help you emotionally connect. Great leaders can easily cover three arenas:
1. About themselves (what you stand for, where you came from)
2. About the organization they represent (you are promoting your firm as well as yourself)
3. About how they have made/can make people feel they are part of something bigger than themselves (this can be about past clients, community organizations or missions that you and your audience have in common)
Caution: Your stories won't get you in the door - only your capabilities, experience and value will. Create the “talk” that defines you and your commitment to professional services and you are much more likely to connect.


George F. Mancuso, CPC

Time Wasters

May 3, 2009

Q: About 2 years ago you sent us a newsletter about Time Wasting. Although I have shared that with my staff over the last “many” months, I have somehow been able to locate the piece in my computer. Would you kind enough to run it again for the edification of all? (Rebecca D. EVP, Business Consulting)

A: My pleasure:

Time management is one of the greatest challenges of any business professional. With that in mind, I offer you the following;

1. Time Waster: Personal Issues brought to work.
a. Solution: Leave your baggage outside the door of your office. When you are at work, you need to focus on work.
2. Time Waster: Discussing every HIGH and LOW with the ENTIRE office.
a. Solution: Don’t cost your co-workers and the company time and money that will be taken away when they stop to listen. Learn to keep things to yourself.
3. Time Waster: Arriving at work with a NEGATIVE ATTITUDE.
a. Solution: You have to arrive at work expecting to WIN and SUCCEED. You don’t want to be responsible for sucking the oxygen out or your office. Remember, if you think you can succeed or you think you can’t – You’re Right!
4. Time Waster: Asking Endless Questions.
a. Solution: Write down your questions and ask your manager at 11:30 AM or 4:30 PM. During prime time, stay focused on your work.
5. Time Waster: Arriving at work with no plan.
a. Solution: You should always arrive at work planning to accomplish all of your “A” priority goals of the day. Without a defined plan you have chaos.
6. Time Waster: Deserving more, settling for less and blaming others.
a. Solution: Always focus on what YOU could have done differently. If you are affected by the actions of someone else, realize that you have 100% control over how you react and you can choose NOT to react at all!

If I can be of assistance to you or your management team with regards to hiring, growth consulting and/or training, please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso